Meta is expanding what types of content are allowed in the virtual worlds that people create for Horizon Worlds, its platform that lets people create VR spaces for shared experiences. The company has added an 18 and up tag for user-created worlds and updated its policy to allow creators to include “mature” content that was previously banned entirely. According to Upload VRCreators who published the world received an email saying they must manually mark whether their world is mature or safe for all audiences – if they don’t, it defaults to 18 and up will be limited.
Based on the Wayback Machine archive of Meta’s Horizon Mature World policy page from April, this means that Meta is now allowing content that was previously banned. This page used to say that sexually suggestive content, depictions of “regulated goods or activities” such as weed and alcohol, and graphically violent content were completely off-limits in Horizon Worlds. Now, you may be able to incorporate those kinds of things into your world, as long as you mark it as mature.
Of course, there are still restrictions. Let’s break them down.
If you mark your wording as mature, you can include “sexually suggestive” content, such as “near nudity, depictions of people in implied or suggestive positions, or environments focused on highly suggestive activities.” ” However, you can’t do flat-out porn; “Nuddity, depictions of people in explicit positions, or content or worlds that are sexually provocative or implied” are still prohibited.
The same goes for regulated substances and violence. You can have a mature world dedicated to or focused on “the promotion of marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, or age-controlled activities (including gambling)” but not promoting “the abuse of illegal drugs or prescription drugs.” And while you may have “intense or highly violent fictional content” with blood and stigmas “that may shock or disgust users,” you may not show real life violence.
You can see that there are some places where the lines are blurry. How suggestive is it when it comes to sex? And in America, weed Is Illegal drugs in many places. For a company that views Metaverse moderation as something critical to its success, Meta is certainly leaving room for issues to crop up with creators who want to push the boundaries.
Meta has issues ensuring that Horizon is a “safe and welcoming environment for all,” as stated in its policy page. It introduced a system that, by default, prevented other users from getting their avatars too close to you when there were complaints that people were imitating sexual harassment during the game’s beta. It also introduced a feature that lets you understand people’s voices if you’re not their friend, which can help avoid harassment in virtual public places.